As part of a broad effort to keep service members healthy and resilient, Fort Meade formally opened a new wellness center on base, offering a place to get advice on nutrition and fitness.
Members of Maryland's Congressional delegation were on hand to open the center, which will serve as the "hub" for a broad campus offering a wide range of services. Speakers during a short ribbon-cutting ceremony included Sens. Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Rep. John Sarbanes (D-3rd.)
Fort Meade is one of 14 installations included in the Department of Defense Healthy Base Initiative, designed to prevent obesity and tobacco use. The initiative is part of a broader program called Operation Live Well, which focuses on the prevention of health problems, rather than the treatment.
Charles Milam, the Principal Director for Military Community and Family Policy, said the Defense Department spends $3.2 billion on health care related to obesity and tobacco use.